This ALCS was a classic, at least in this writer’s opinion. I am not even just saying that because the Boston Red Sox ended up winning. The starting pitching was just so good that it made for six really incredible baseball games. Here are some takeaways from the ALCS.
I totally underestimated the Detroit Tigers‘ starting rotation. Many baseball fans would have said that the Tampa Bay Rays have the best rotation in the MLB. After seeing the Tigers and how dominating they were, Detroit has the best. Unfortunately, they may have one of the worst bullpens to get that deep in the postseason and that was their undoing. It felt as though once Max Scherzer left Game 6, you knew that somehow Boston would get to that bullpen and that was exactly what happened. If the Tigers are looking to get to the next level, they need more quality relievers. As good as their starters are, I feel their relievers are that bad.
Boston seems to be playing like one of those teams where you can’t make any mistake because they will capitalize on it and make you pay. That may not make them a championship team, but for now they are sure playing like one. Boston has extreme confidence in their bullpen and now that can include Brandon Workman. It is good to have another reliever that John Farrell can depend on. The trio of Craig Breslow, Junichi Tazawa and Koji Uehara has been lights-out but they must be getting very tired.
As a Red Sox fan, I do feel sorry for Jose Iglesias and Torii Hunter. Iglesias made two errors in the ALCS and they proved to be very costly. He made so many dazzling plays that hopefully those errors aren’t going to haunt him. When Iglesias made that error in Game 6, the next image you see is Hunter with this look on his face almost of resignation. It was like he was thinking what is going to go wrong now? Here is a great player who has never made it to the World Series but has gone to the ALCS more than once only to never advance; you have to feel for him.
Xander Bogaerts is ready. He will be in the starting lineup next year because he came up huge in some big moments. Maybe he didn’t hit a game winning home run but he showed amazing poise and maturity. I feel you may not see Will Middlebrooks in a Boston uniform next year. Keep Stephen Drew and his defense.
Cannot wait to see what the World Series will bring.